The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
and a little child will lead them. – Isaiah 11:6
There really is something special about the spirituality of children. Their hearts and minds have the ability to believe “recklessly” and while that can be a concern in regards to safety, in the realm of God and his kingdom it is a beautiful thing. They have the capacity to believe that God loves them and will take care of them, just because he’s God. It comes out in their words as they pray as I heard yesterday. Before every drama presentation, we gather as a team and pray. There was an unoccupied spot in the nursery, or so I thought, when a few children came in. I explained to them that we were going to pray and they could join us if they wanted. They enthusiastically wanted to join us, and their heartfelt prayers refresh my soul. It reminds me of how to come to God in prayer.
We do not live in a perfect world where the wolf will live with the lamb, but we will. God has promised that all the tears will be wiped away, there will be no more pain, and it will be eternal. Believing that promise should be the filter our prayers go through … not our doubts or experiences. If we can pray “recklessly” like the children, believing what we pray makes a difference, and then we live out the promise that is to come.
Prayer: Lord, I thank you for your promises to me. I know that you will fulfill them all. I pray that I can believe and surrender like a small child when it comes to you. Amen
Faith Tip: Practice praying “recklessly” with heart and mind wide open.
Ahhhh … the comforts of life. We all know what gives us peace and makes us happy. For me, and this will come as a big surprise to many of you, is a fresh-brewed cup of coffee. I love the smell, the warmth in my hands, the taste and the bit of alertness it gives me. It paints a wonderful picture of relaxing and enjoying life to me.
If I look closer, I see there is a lot more behind the coffee that brings me pleasure. There is someone who is picking it. Are they hired or a slave? I have no idea. To tell you the truth, if I find out that the pleasure I am enjoying came as the cost of someone being enslaved and perhaps abused, that brings me grief. In learning the possibility, I have a choice to make. Do I ignore the learning given or do I bring it to light and make a change to my comforts?
God grants wisdom if we ask for it. He wants us to be enlightened … to see what he sees … for our hearts to break when his does.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the pleasures you give us in life. I pray that what brings me pleasure does not come at a cost for someone else. May the grief of wisdom bring me closer to following you in doing the right thing. Amen
Faith Tip: Ignorance is not bliss. Seek wisdom from God who is so faithful.
A frame from the famous “Beauty and the Beast” ballroom dance sequence. Using Disney’s CAPS software, the traditionally animated characters of Belle and the Beast are combined with a rendered computer-generated background to give the illusion of a dollying film camera. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As water reflects the face,
so one’s life reflects the heart. – Proverbs 27:19
There’s a scene from Beauty and the Beast where Belle and the beast are dancing in the great hall. It’s amazing how the production specialists made the floor reflective … it’s a beautiful scene. Plus the looks on their faces as they dance show the love they have for one another … their hearts are bared.
As we dance through life, what is the reflection seen on our faces … what does it show of our hearts? Is there an expression of God’s love for those who waltz into our daily routine?
It’s important to me to do what God wants me to do. I figure that the people he puts in my life and the situations are all for a purpose … most likely to change my heart to reflect his. It’s like being asked to dance by Jesus. If I accept, he will lead me across the dance floor securely in his arms with great love being shown on his face.
Prayer: You are the Lord of the Dance of life and I thank you for the invitation to join you on the dance floor. I pray my steps will be pleasing to you and not an obstacle to people who need you. Amen
Faith Tip: Are you ready to dance? Accept God’s invitation and have the time of your life.
A person’s wisdom yields patience;
it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense. – Proverbs 19:11
My husband and I were dining with another couple at a nice restaurant. When our food was brought out, my entrée was cold and the meat somewhat raw. I called the server over and explained the problem, but was polite and understanding. The couple with us was amazed that I didn’t get all upset and demand satisfaction. I wish I could say that I was always this understanding, but the truth is … sometimes my impatience shows through.
Allowing God’s Spirit to guide us in words and actions will be noticed. It is almost considered normal to demand our rights in this country with no consideration for anyone else. Revenge is on our hearts when we have been offended. We forget for that time span how we have been offensive. The grace of God shown through us says that we know who died for our sin and who put him on the cross. While yet offensive, Christ died for us.
Prayer: Father, forgive me for the times that I forget what you have done for me. There is no offense against me that measures up to the offense I had against you. You have taken the sting of death away by your grace and mercy. Amen
Faith Tip: If you have been offended or are offended today, look upon the offender as Christ looked at us from the cross.
Yesterday was a difficult day of remembering as the focus on the attacks on September 11 have left a huge impact on all who were alive to see it. I’ve read many blogs and Facebook statuses of where they were that day and how it changed them. So it begs the question, “How do we rejoice when something so devastating has happened in our lives?”
The word “rejoice” has a much deeper meaning than the word “happy.” Happiness is more external in experiences we have had that match our preferences. Rejoice comes from the deepest part of our soul. True rejoicing can only come in connection with God. Bottom line, if it’s only God and us and that’s all there is in our life … Rejoice! We feel through our life that we need other things and people … these are gifts from the Lord because of his love for us. However, if it is all taken away, as Job said, “Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Prayer: Lord, I thank you for the relationship we have where I can rejoice no matter what. It is my choice though. I pray that my eyes never stray from you so that I can stand strong when life is hard. Amen
Faith Tip: Are you struggling today? Try to take your eyes off your struggle and cement them on to Jesus. His yoke is lighter.
College Students Spending Time Outside (Photo credit: York College of PA)
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. – 1 Corinthians 16:13
As I think about those going off to college, for many it’s a totally different environment than what they have experienced. More world views are expressed and many of those views most likely will not have a Christian worldview. I pray that the students can stand firm in their faith as the world tries to knock them off balance. It takes courage to stand strong.
It’s the same for all of us as we go out into the world. We are told what is acceptable in our culture and expected to align with it. However, many times the culture contradicts our faith and we may begin to feel wobbly in our steadfast stance. That’s when we clutch to the sword of truth and go into battle. We must remember though that it is a spiritual battle that we fight. We do not fight the people. We love them and pray for them for they are victims of the lies they have believed.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the opportunities when I care share your truth with someone who doesn’t know it. I pray that I can stand strong and not be pushed over by the world. Amen
Faith Tip: Make the choice now of how you will react when faced with something that comes against truth.
There is comfort and encouragement in being surrounded. I know I feel that way when I am surrounded by friends or a quilt on a cold morning. Last night, I and a few other Word Weavers had an opportunity to surround Judy and Jerry Doctor, who lead a workshop based on how God uses dreams. They wrote a book on this subject entitled “Dream Treasure, Learning the Language of Heaven.”
God surrounds us. That’s a great fact to know as we go through our days … we do not walk alone. Mountains are a symbol of strength and stability. They protect and are always there during this life. God is the same in that his love and protection are always with us. I know that brings up a lot of “why” questions, but we need to trust in the mountain of God. Wrap the truth of this around you like a favorite sweater experiencing the comfort and encouragement of his faithfulness.
Prayer: Lord, knowing you are always with me give great comfort and encouragement. I do not have to climb the mountain to receive your love. You have already brought it to me. Thank you. Amen
Faith Tip: Go through your day today with the knowledge and confidence of God surrounding you and live that truth out.